Review Category : National News

UN Officials Criticize City of Detroit for Water Shutoffs

Tomjac80/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DETROIT) — United Nations human rights officials on Monday criticized the city of Detroit for shutting off water to customers behind on their bills, saying that the shutoffs discriminate against minorities.

Officials spent the weekend in Detroit “to learn more about the impact of water disconnections on the living conditions of individuals and households and on their human rights to water, sanitation and housing.”

“Without water,” the U.N. statement read, “people cannot live a life with dignity.” Further, “when people are genuinely unable to pay the bill, it is the State’s obligation to provide urgent measures, including financial assistance, a specially low tariff or subsidies, to ensure access to essential water and sanitation for all.”

The city’s water policy allows for water to be shut off to customers more than 60 days behind on their bills. This year alone, 27,000 households have had their water shut off in Detroit.

U.N. officials said that the city had raised water rates by 8.7 percent, passing on the expense of leakages in aging infrastructure.

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Billy Joel Reveals Why He (Probably) Won’t Make Another Album Ever Again

Courtesy: Library of CongressWhile Billy Joel continues to pack fans into New York’s Madison Square Garden every month — as part of his ongoing residency there — fans are still hoping that he might one day decide to make a new album. But in a new interview with The New Yorker, Joel says that’s not likely to happen. “I’ve had my say,” he explains.

“Some people think it’s because I’m lazy or I’m just being contrary,” the Piano Man tells the magazine, explaining why he hasn’t put out an album of original pop songs since 1993’s River of Dreams. “But no, I think it’s just — I’ve had my say. If I put out an album now, it would probably sell pretty well, because of who I am, but that’s no reason to do it. I’d want it to be good.”

He adds, “I’ve seen artists on that treadmill, putting out albums year after year, and the albums get worse and worse, less and less interesting, and it’s, like, ‘Maybe you should stop.'” In addition, Billy thinks actually recording a new album would just be too much of a hassle.

“I’m not crazy about going into a recording studio and doing that kind of life again, or taking on another project where there’s other people involved — arrangers and orchestrators and conductors and producers,” he tells The New Yorker. “I don’t want to deal with it…You have to have a certain amount of ambition to want to do all that. Joel adds, “And I look back at the guy who was the recording artist, this Billy Joel guy, and I think, Who the f**k was that guy? He was very ambitious, very driven, and I don’t feel like that anymore.”

And then there’s the personal aspect of it. Billy says he doesn’t want to write songs, only to have people pick them apart for clues to his personal life.

“I had gone through this celebrity craziness with Christie [Brinkley], and the divorce,” he says, talking about the time of River of Dreams and its aftermath. “I felt like there was a proctoscope up my butt. Everybody interrogating, analyzing — everything I wrote was fraught with meanings — and I said, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to rip myself open and let everyone see everything.’ It was no longer comfortable. ‘Enough! I gave you enough!'”

Still, Joel tells The New Yorker that he’s been working on a series of “tone poems” called The Scrimshaw Pieces, which are meant to tell the history of Long Island. However, he has no plans to release that music any time soon. In fact, he hasn’t actually recorded a lot of it, and says he’s even on the verge of forgetting some of it.

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Fighter Jets Collide over Kansas, No Serious Injuries Reported

AndersHP84/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOWARD, Kan.) — A pair of F-16 fighter jets were involved in a mid-air collision on Monday in which one of the planes crashed and the pilot of the other was able to return to its base in Tulsa, Okla. and land safely.

According to the Oklahoma National Guard, the planes collided over Howard, about 110 miles away from Tulsa. The two jets were taking part in a training exercise when at the time of the crash. The pilot whose plane crashed was able to eject and was recovered safely.

Col. Max Moss of the Oklahoma National Guard said Monday that, “neither pilot was seriously injured in the accident,” but that the pilot who ejected will be medically evaluated at a Wichita hospital.

No further information regarding the crash was immediately available.

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LA Kings Player Arrested for Domestic Violence

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has been arrested in Redondo Beach and accused of domestic violence.

He was immediately suspended by the National Hockey League.

The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players says it can suspend a player during a criminal investigation. Voynov will continue to be paid while the investigation is ongoing, but he will not play.

The last NHL player arrested for domestic violence was not suspended, but that was before the National Football League was criticized for how it handled Ray Rice’s domestic violence arrest.

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Police Trying To Identify Remains Found in Hannah Graham Search

Charlottesville Police Department(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va.) — Investigators are working to confirm the identity of remains found on Sunday during the search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, who disappeared last month.

Searches for the 18-year-old sophomore have been suspended after police found human remains in a shallow creek bed near a vacant home. Officials said it could take several days to complete the identification process.

Jesse Matthew, the only suspect in the case, is being held in the Ablemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail awaiting his Dec. 4 hearing. The Virginia resident was arrested in Galveston, Texas, on charges of abduction with intent to defile.

Matthew is being held in isolation in a 6 foot by 9 foot cell with a toilet and a sink. Superintendent Col. Martin Kumer told ABC News that Matthew sleeps on a concrete bed with a plastic covered mattress and a blanket. He can request books from the jail’s library, but it isn’t clear if he has yet.

Matthew, 32, worked as a technician at the University of Virginia hospital and was seen on surveillance footage with Graham shortly before she vanished.

His attorney, Jim Camblos, released a statement Sunday confirming that he had heard of the discovery of the human remains in Ablemarle County, but did not comment on the case.

Sgt. Dale Terry of the Chesterfield Sheriff’s Department said that his five person team found a skull, bones, and vertebrae that appeared long, making it consistent with a tall person’s body. Graham was 5-foot-11. A pair of dark-colored pants similar to those Graham was described as wearing on the night of her disappearance were found near the remains.

The remains were found in a dried-up creek bed behind a vacant home off Old Lynchburg Road, roughly 10 miles south of where Graham was last seen in the early morning hours of Saturday Sept. 13.

The exact address has not been publicly confirmed, but it is believed to be about 3 miles away from a home where Matthew and his mother lived a few years ago.

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Closing Arguments to Begin in “Dexter” Murder Trial

iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) — Closing arguments and jury deliberations are scheduled for Tuesday in the case of a Utah man accused of shooting his wife to death after a night of drinking and watching the TV series Dexter, a show about a serial killer.

Conrad Truman, 32, described the moment of his wife’s death in court Friday, telling a jury he was inside the house while his wife was taking a bath.

Truman said he suddenly heard a pop.

His wife Heidy Truman appeared naked in the hallway, bleeding and choking, he said. He says he attempted CPR.

“I was over her at first, and I was trying to communicate, and there was no communication,” he told the court. “There was a lot of choking, like gasping for air, and I checked for a pulse and I just wanted to make sure she was going to stay breathing for when I went to grab the phone.”

Truman was questioned about the exact episode of Dexter he was watching the night of the shooting, Sept. 30, 2012, but he testified that he didn’t remember the details. He insists he didn’t shoot his wife and that she must have accidentally shot herself or been hit by a bullet fired from outside the house.

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Earlier that evening, he says, he heard a disturbance outside, which he investigated with his dog and gun, but said he found nothing and didn’t call police.

He also admitted to prosecutors that he had argued with his wife that night, but says it wasn’t anything serious.

“We were just bickering back and forth, what dog – if we were to get a dog – what dog it would be,” he said.

He appeared adamant when questioned Thursday about his innocence.

“Did you shoot your wife?” a defense attorney asked.

“No,” he said.

“Did you kill your wife?”

“No.”

Much of the trial has focused on Truman’s demeanor the night of the shooting, including his incomprehensive speech in his 911 call and behavior around his wife’s body.

“I was just confused,” he said in court Thursday. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

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School Bus Driver Charged With Third DUI

iStock/Thinkstock(ASHLAND, Mass.) — A Massachusetts school bus driver was charged with driving under the influence after he was allegedly intoxicated while operating a bus full of cross country runners.

Robert E. Murphy, 59, of Ashland, Mass., was driving the Hopkinton High School cross country team back from a meet at approximately 10:30 p.m. Saturday when one of the coaches on board called police with concerns that he was intoxicated.

Hopkinton Police Officer Aaron O’Neil met the bus as it was turning into the Hopkinton High School parking lot, and after the 25 team members got off he conducted a series of field sobriety tests on Murphy, police said.

After the tests, he arrested Murphy on charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and operating a motor vehicle to endanger.

It was Murphy’s third DUI offense, police said.

Murphy was booked and bail was arranged through the bail commissioner. He is scheduled to appear in Framingham District Court on Monday for arraignment.

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WATCH: Flames Engulf Calif. Home, Good Samaritans Race to Help

Courtesy Beth Lederach (FRESNO, Calif.) — Michael Alcala wanted to help.

The student was passing by a Fresno, California, house fire Saturday when he heard screams; a man trapped inside, his daughter pleading for her father’s safety.

“He was yelling for help…nobody was able to see him,” Alcala, 22, told ABC News.

The fire started in the garage, quickly spreading, with flames and heavy smoke shooting from the home.

Robert Wells was trapped in his kitchen.

“He was supposed to be right behind me,” his daughter Roberta Denise Francis said. “I looked behind me, and he wasn’t there.”

The only way around the flames was over a side fence, then through the backyard. Alcala found Wells gasping for air, and flagged down a second man to help move Wells.

“We were carrying him out, and that’s when we were passing the garage…and just an explosion out of nowhere,” Alcala said.

A third good Samaritan — seen on video wearing a Dodgers baseball hat — carried Wells the rest of the way to safety. The identities of the men who helped Alcala remain a mystery. Alcala was proud to be a part of the rescue.

“I felt good walking away knowing they were safe,” he said.

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WATCH: Flames Engulf Calif. Home, Good Samaritans Race to Help

Courtesy Beth Lederach (FRESNO, Calif.) — Michael Alcala wanted to help.

The student was passing by a Fresno, California, house fire Saturday when he heard screams; a man trapped inside, his daughter pleading for her father’s safety.

“He was yelling for help…nobody was able to see him,” Alcala, 22, told ABC News.

The fire started in the garage, quickly spreading, with flames and heavy smoke shooting from the home.

Robert Wells was trapped in his kitchen.

“He was supposed to be right behind me,” his daughter Roberta Denise Francis said. “I looked behind me, and he wasn’t there.”

The only way around the flames was over a side fence, then through the backyard. Alcala found Wells gasping for air, and flagged down a second man to help move Wells.

“We were carrying him out, and that’s when we were passing the garage…and just an explosion out of nowhere,” Alcala said.

A third good Samaritan — seen on video wearing a Dodgers baseball hat — carried Wells the rest of the way to safety. The identities of the men who helped Alcala remain a mystery. Alcala was proud to be a part of the rescue.

“I felt good walking away knowing they were safe,” he said.

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WATCH: Flames Engulf Calif. Home, Good Samaritans Race to Help

Courtesy Beth Lederach (FRESNO, Calif.) — Michael Alcala wanted to help.

The student was passing by a Fresno, California, house fire Saturday when he heard screams; a man trapped inside, his daughter pleading for her father’s safety.

“He was yelling for help…nobody was able to see him,” Alcala, 22, told ABC News.

The fire started in the garage, quickly spreading, with flames and heavy smoke shooting from the home.

Robert Wells was trapped in his kitchen.

“He was supposed to be right behind me,” his daughter Roberta Denise Francis said. “I looked behind me, and he wasn’t there.”

The only way around the flames was over a side fence, then through the backyard. Alcala found Wells gasping for air, and flagged down a second man to help move Wells.

“We were carrying him out, and that’s when we were passing the garage…and just an explosion out of nowhere,” Alcala said.

A third good Samaritan — seen on video wearing a Dodgers baseball hat — carried Wells the rest of the way to safety. The identities of the men who helped Alcala remain a mystery. Alcala was proud to be a part of the rescue.

“I felt good walking away knowing they were safe,” he said.

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